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Entertaining – Gourmet Ontario Promoting gourmet food, baking, organic, local food, VQA wine, craft beer, fresh farm, wild game, festivals Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:15:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mango Salsa Mon, 26 May 2014 16:35:55 +0000

With the warmer weather it is finally time for patio season!! We cleaned up the BBQ, set up patio furniture, and have hosted our first dinner on the deck! I decided to make a fresh fruit salsa for our appetizer this weekend while having some friends over for dinner. This mango salsa was a huge success, combining sweetness of the mango, the right amount of heat from the cayenne, and all balanced with the clean flavours of cucumber and red onions. This will be a new staple for summer barbecues at our house.

Mango Salsa

  • 3 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Prepare all ingredients and combine in large bowl. We served this with our favourite Tostitos Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips, but I think I will be making this with our Fish Tacos too very soon!

    Mango Salsa

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Crock Pot French Toast Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:00:36 +0000

Crock Pot French Toast

Crock Pot French Toast

A couple of weeks ago, we were asked to bring a breakfast item to our church to share. Everyone had the idea of bringing in bagels and muffins, but I like a good hot breakfast on weekends. I decided to give french toast in the crock pot a try, and everyone was glad that I did. It was warm, sweet and filling; the perfect fall comfort food. Try it and tell us what you think.

Crock Pot French Toast


  • large loaf of French bread
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cups raisins


1. Spray the liner of your crock pot with nonstick spray.
2. Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
3. Cut loaf of bread into 1″ cubes. Spread out onto a large cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour until the bread is crispy and dry.
4. Toss bread cubes into bottom of sprayed crock pot. Toss in raisins.
5. In large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread cubes. Push bread down into egg mixture.
6. Mix softened butter with the brown sugar. Sprinkle on top of the bread.
7. Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for approximately 4 hours, or until the center is set.
8. Serve with maple syrup.

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Chocolate Covered Bacon Tue, 24 Jul 2012 14:45:48 +0000

chocolate covered baconA little over a year ago, a couple of my friends were talking about chocolate covered bacon, going for about $10 per pound at a local shop. At first I thought, “Eww, no thanks!” but as I thought more about this, I thought about the contrast between sweet and salty combination that I seem to enjoy so much, so I decided to give it a try. At $10 a pound though, I figured I could come up with my own.

I took any chocolate I had around the house. I ended up with a mix of milk, dark, and white chocolates. Then I baked my bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet until cooked to my desired crispiness.  I prefer my bacon a bit on the chewy side. If the bacon is too crispy, it can break while trying to coat in chocolate.  Set bacon aside to cool. Meanwhile, I broke the chocolate into small pieces into a glass bowl and microwaved on high heat for 30 seconds. I stirred it gently and put it back in the microwave and continue to heat for 30 seconds until fully melted. (You can also choose to melt the chocolate using the double boiler method, but I used the microwave for convenience.)  I then dipped the bacon, one slice at a time, into the melted chocolate. I decided to leave an inch of the bacon slice without chocolate for a “handle” so to speak, but liking melted chocolate off of your fingers while eating chocolate covered bacon isn’t a horrible thing either. 😉 Place chocolate covered bacon on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

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Stuffed Yorkshire Pudding Fri, 15 Jun 2012 14:48:28 +0000

While watching the Euro Cup soccer matches this past week, we’ve been inspired to cook up some popular European dishes for a snack to eat while cheering on our favourite teams. Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting a few different recipes to enjoy during Euro Cup 2012.

Last night we decided to make a Stuffed Yorkshire Pudding in preparation for the England match today. Although I have eaten a few yorkshire puddings,  I have never made one until now. I started with just a standard yorkshire pudding recipe, like the one here.

After trying this recipe, the yorkies came out a bit thicker than I wanted so for my next batch I decided to turn my oven temperature up to heat the oil a bit more. Be prepared to drop the mixture into the muffin pan as soon as the pan comes out of the oven, as I think my pan cooled down too much. I also chose to use the jumbo muffin pan to get larger Yorkshire Puddings so I could put a good amount of filling inside them.

While the Yorkshire Puddings were in the oven, I prepared the stuffing. This time I stuffed them with roast beef in gravy and horsradish mashed potatoes for a savoury meal. I bought 200 grams of an extra thick cut roast beef from the deli. I cut the beef into bite-sized pieces and put them into a beef gravy to heat it up. I boiled two large baking potatoes and mashed them up with about 2 tablespoons creamy horseradish. I thought this would be a great way to incorporate the flavour of horseradish into the dish since it pairs so well with roast beef. I filled the Yorkshire Pudding with roast beef with gravy, layered a spoonful of horseradish mashed potatoes on top, and finished it off with a drizzle of gravy.  This amount of roast beef and potatoes filled the six jumbo yorkies quite well.

Given the sweetness and texture of the Yorkshire Pudding, I can see stuffing them with a scrambled egg and sausage for breakfast or some berries and sweet cream for a light summer dessert. What would you put into your Yorkshire Pudding? Send us your photos.

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National Popcorn Day Thu, 19 Jan 2012 15:46:36 +0000

  It’s National Popcorn Day today and we thought we would post a few recipes for you that we have found. We cannot wait to get home and try these! Hope you enjoy!

Caramel Bacon Popcorn Crunch from Food52

Serves 6
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 1/2 cup dry popcorn
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet by lightly spraying it with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, gently brown the bacon until crisp, about 8-10 minutes, flipping frequently. When they are crisp, set them aside and crumble once they are cool enough to handle.
  3. Pour off bacon fat from the skillet into a large pot (at least 5 quarts and with a lid). Heat the pot over medium high heat and add the popcorn. Cover with lid and pop popcorn, shaking frequently to distribute the kernels. Once the popping has stopped, remove from heat and pour popcorn into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add crumbled bacon and peanuts to the popcorn and mix well.
  5. In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Once it is melted, add the sugar and corn syrup and stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring up to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the baking soda and salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the caramel slowly over the popcorn stirring constantly. Once all the caramel is coating the popcorn mixture, spread it on your prepared sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, Break mixture into bite sized pieces and enjoy!

Or try this

Dark Chocolate Popcorn from

  • 1 cup popcorn
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate


  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, protecting it from the direct heat of the flame. Stir it until it is smooth.
  2. Pop the popcorn. Pour into a very large bowl or container. Pour in the chocolate. Stir with a rubber spatula, tossing to combine evenly. Pour out onto a lightly oiled pan. Break up any large clusters. Cool until hardened.
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Veggie Pizza Variation Fri, 13 Jan 2012 21:24:26 +0000

Recently I posted a recipe for one of my favorite snacks, Veggie Pizza. I was having friends over one night and decided to experiment with the ingredients. I sauteed broccoli, carrots and cauliflower in extra virgin olive oil until they were tender but still crisp. I also used a four cheese ranch bottled dressing which added great flavor. I then topped it with green olive slices and freshly shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and put it in the oven to melt the cheese over the vegetables. It was fantastic!

I highly suggest experimenting with the ingredients on this veggie pizza. Try adding a bit of garlic to the vegetables or if you like things with a bit of heat, try adding some red pepper flakes or curry. Let us know what you try on your veggie pizza.

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It’s Game Time! Fri, 28 Oct 2011 22:30:44 +0000

It’s a great time of year to be indoors and enjoying watching a good hockey or football game, maybe even catching the last few games of the world series with friends. Evenings like these are better paired with a few snacks and your favorite beer or wine. So call up your friends, grab a few harvest ales or a bottle of Riesling and host a get together with some of these delicious and simple recipes!

Quick Taco Dip

Take one 8-oz container low fat sour cream, mix in 1/2 to 1 packet of Taco Seasoning. Spread mixture into bottom of glass pie plate. Cover with salsa then top with cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos, or any other of your favorite toppings. Grab a bag of tortilla chips and enjoy.


Vegetable Squares

2 packages crescent rolls

1 cup Mayonnaise

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Original Salad Dressing Mix

8 ounces cream cheese

small cut veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, etc.

shredded cheddar cheese

Makes 2 pizzas. Put crescent rolls on a sheet and press dough together to make one sheet of dough. Bake as directed on crescent roll package. Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix together. Mixer works well for this.

Spread mix over baked crescent rolls and sprinkle with cut veggies. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over vegetables and top with black olives. Chill, cut and serve.

What are some of your favorite recipes?

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